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NICO, AU collaborates on promotion of Nigerian indigenous languages


NICO Acting Executive Secretary, Mr Eriomala
The National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) said it was collaborating with the African Union (AU) to promote Nigerian indigenous languages.
The Acting Executive Secretary of the institute, Mr Louis Eriomala disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.
According to him, the partnership is through AU’s  African Academy of Languages (ACALAN), which is saddled with the responsibility of harmonisation of Africa’s many spoken languages.
“It is also worthy of note to state that in recognition of our contribution to the promotion of Nigerian indigenous languages, NICO has been granted the status of National Focal Agency for Indigenous Languages by UNESCO.
“We are to work closely with ACALAN, an agency of the African Union. The Institute is also an important stakeholder in the National Language Project where we participate and play a very prominent role.
`With this collaboration, we hope our target audience will increase and we will also include other African languages in our programme,’’ he said.
Eriomala, added that the institute also introduced programmes in all its training centres nationwide to encourage the preservation of indigenous languages and save them from going into extinction.
“The programme is designed to create awareness on the need for Nigerians to learn, speak and use their indigenous languages.
“Since inception, the programme has made great impact with remarkable increase in the number of participants ranging from children, students, members of paramilitary institutions, civil servants among others.
“For now, the languages taught are Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Tiv, Efik, Fulfude, Izon, Gbagyi, Nupe, Urhobo, Batonou, Bwatiye and Chamba. It is our hope that with increased funding, the number of languages will increase.’’
The NICO boss further disclosed that the institute had trained over 61 Post Graduate Diploma and Advanced Diploma students in Cultural Administration in 2017, while 55 are currently being trained in its Lagos and Abuja centres.
He added that the institute was affiliated with the Nassarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK) for its training programme, which would enable its students to gain admission for Masters or Doctorate Degree programme in the relevant department. (NAN)

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